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n Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe - Die skryf van 'n Nederlandse literatuurgeskiedenis : generiese kenmerke as wetmatighede? - : navorsings- en oorsigartikel

Volume 54, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0041-4751

Abstract

Die skryf van geskiedenis as 'n vorm van historiese representasie het nog altyd baie teoretiese besinning ontlok en die besef het posgevat dat weens die narratiewe aard daarvan 'n sogenaamde "objektiewe" weergawe van die verlede onmoontlik is.


In die literatuurwetenskap het die literêre geskiedskrywing benaderings tot die letterkunde op die voet gevolg. Veral die teorieë van Pierre Bourdieu (1993) wat die konsep die "literêre veld" postuleer, gee in die afgelope jare aanleiding tot literatuurgeskiedenisse wat die klem plaas op die institusionele aard van die letterkunde en veel meer die klem plaas op "institusies" soos uitgewers, biblioteke, tydskrifte en die institusionele "inbinding" van tekste en outeurs.
Die ontvangs van literatuurgeskiedenisse gaan gewoonlik gepaard met 'n verwoording van die eie (metodologiese) uitgangspunte of (literatuur)opvattings van resensente of kommentators. Daarom is die selfstandige skryf van 'n literatuurgeskiedenis geen geringe taak nie. Nie net noodsaak dit diepgaande teoretiese besinning op grond van, maar ook kennis van, voorafgaande literatuurgeskiedenisse en hul samestellers/skrywers se uitgangspunte.Uit navorsing vir die skryf van 'n tweedelige Nederlandse in Afrikaans blyk dit duidelik dat in oorsigte van die Nederlandse letterkunde daar nie net 'n "stabilisering" van feite, indelings (soos periodes) en selfs interpretasies sigbaar is nie; ook waarde-oordele is dikwels 'n eggo van voriges. Evaluerings van 'n bepaalde skrywer of teks in 'n literatuurgeskiedenis verskil weinig van dié in die heel eerste resensies en kensketsings van bepaalde skrywers reflekteer weer dikwels poëtikale uitsprake van die betrokke skrywer self. Hierdie soeke na konsensus binne die literêre veld geskied nie net vanweë die feit dat daar dikwels 'n gedeelde wetenskaplike paradigma en literatuuropvatting bestaan nie, maar ook uit strategiese oorwegings. Wat toenemend gebeur in historiese representasies is dat die fokus in die literêre geskiedskrywing nie meer is op die eie tyd en die heersende literatuuropvattings en -oordele van nou nie, maar van tóé. Die verlede word in hierdie proses noulettend morfologies gerekonstrueer. Uiteraard is dit 'n relativistiese; selfs historisistiese metode wat die begrip (maar ook begrippe soos "goed", "sleg" en "groots") afhanklik maak van 'n bepaalde tyd en ruimte.


The writing of history as a form of historical representation has always elicited theoretical discussion. Eventually the realisation dawned that due to the inherent narrative qualities of historical representation an "objective" rendering of the past is impossible. Within the realm of literary criticism approaches to literature profoundly influenced literary history. Especially the theories of Pierre Bourdieu pertaining to the concept of the Literary Field had an enormous impact on literary history in recent years. Subsequently, the emphasis shifted to the institutional aspect of literature and publishers, libraries, journals, literary affiliations seemingly warranted much more attention.
The reception of literary histories affords the opportunity for reviewers to voice their own literary and methodological beliefs. The drafting of a literary history is therefore fraught with danger and it also necessitates theoretical contemplation and an intimate knowledge of the work of forerunners.
Research with the object of drafting a Dutch literary history led me to certain conclusions. There is often a "stabilisation" of facts, periodisation and even interpretations and evaluations of texts and authors alike. Evaluations of the latter in literary histories often only deviate marginally from those in the very first reviews and rubrications of a specific author often stem from his own initial characterisation of his own work. This striving towards concensus within the Literary Field can not only be contributed to a shared scientific paradigm and conception of literature; it is often a strategic stance. Increasingly current historical representations shift the emphasis to the past and to the then current conceptions of literature; even validation of their evaluations. In the process the past is "morphologically" reconstructed. This approach is not only relativistic in nature but also historistic; even a concept like (and epitheta like "good", "bad" and "great") are increasingly seen as dependent on, even confined to a specific time and space. A consequence is that a concept like "intrinsic value" not only becomes suspect, but also superfluous.

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/content/akgees/54/3/EJC157893
2014-09-01
2019-12-13

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